• Kyodo News

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Japan international midfielders Kengo Nakamura of Kawasaki Frontale and Gamba Osaka’s Yasuhito Endo are on the shortlist for the 2009 Asian Player of the Year award, the Asian Football Confederation said Thursday.

Nagoya Grampus defender Maya Yoshida, who helped his side beat Kawasaki to reach the semifinals of the Asian Champions League, is the third Japanese player in contention on the initial 15-man list, which will be revised after each match day until the prestigious award is given out on Nov. 24 in Kuala Lumpur.

The best Asian player is chosen on the basis of a weighted ranking system which takes into account Most Valuable Player nominations at key AFC and FIFA tournaments.

Server Djeparov (Bunyodkor and Uzbekistan) is the reigning AFC Player of the Year.

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